Family game nights are something that we reconnected with during COVID. Many of us played board games such as Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, and Battleship . Along with card games for hours upon hours and then ventured outside for flashlight tag. It’s funny how we went back in time to simpler days and unplugged from the digital world to bond with those around us. It’s the small conversations, laughs and even tears during the time spent together playing games that we will carry with us moving forward.
If you want to know how to make VBS fun, games are an easy way to relate to children and their sense of creativity as well as their competitive nature. When you’re planning vacation bible school this year, here are what some may consider old fashioned but are definitely interactive and fun VBS games that help kids grow in their faith and connect with others:
The importance of this game is to remind children that we all have individual gifts and talents, but when we are joined together, not only are we stronger but our collaborative reach is wider!
1 Corinthians 12:25-27- “In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy. You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.”
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One person is “it” and the others run. Once “it” tags someone, they link arms to chase the others to tag and link arms. Play is over once all have been tagged and are linked together.
Start with some tongue twisters as a warm-up and then incorporate the VBS memory verse into the game. This is especially fun if you have teams and a couple of verses that you can put into play! Each word in the Bible has significance, so each needs to be spoken for the truth to be known.
Psalm 19:14- “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
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Inside or outdoors, this game is best played in a large circle seated on the floor/ground. One person reads the slip of paper with the content on it and then whispers it into the ear of the person to the left of him/her. The phrase cannot be repeated, so the listener must be intentional to listen and share with the person to his/her left. Play is over when the final person, seated next to the reader of the content, says the message out loud for all to hear.
Red Light Green Light
Listening is the main point in this game. When God speaks we need to be in a place to hear Him and to respond to move forward or stay where we are. Psalm 143:8- “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
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One person acts as the traffic light at one end of a field, and the rest of the players are at the other end. When the traffic light faces the group, he/she says, “Red light!” and everyone must freeze. The traffic light then turns his/her back and says, “Green light!” while the group tries to get as close to the traffic light as possible. The traffic light turns around quickly, again saying, “Red light!”, and if anyone is spotted moving, they have to go back to the starting place. The first person to tag the traffic light wins and gets to be the next traffic light.
People sometimes make their own truth. They go with whatever feels right or makes them feel good. But when you are a Christian, the truth must come from God and His Word, not made-up opinions for what feels right in the moment. The belt of truth game helps to keep you grounded. Surround yourselves with those who are equipped in armor, too, to face the trials together.
Ephesians 6:13-17- “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
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Divide the children into two or more equal numbered groups. Line up the kids so that they stand in front of one another in the same direction with a pile of toilet paper rolls between them. To begin to play, hand the first person in each line a roll of toilet paper and tell them that when you give the signal/music starts they should loosen the paper from the roll and carefully pass it to the person behind them. Each team member should alternate passing it over their heads and under their bodies.
When the roll gets to the end of the line, the person on the end first wraps it around their waist and then runs to the front of the line. Passes the roll to the person behind him/her, and so on. This continues until each person in the group has a belt of toilet paper with the winner being the first group to do so. (Players can grab another roll of toilet paper from the middle as needed until all are properly belted in the playing of the game.) This is one of those kid’s games VBS lessons that can be adapted to different armor pieces- shoes, helmet, breastplate- or an entirely different
Being a witness is easier than we think, we just have to be ready to interact and share. And, the important part to remember is that it more often than not takes several interactions to share your faith and for a person to decide to be born again. Don’t despair and remain faithful.
Romans 10:15- “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Every player gets a number and crowds around the person who is “it” for that round. “It” then tosses the ball straight up and the other players run away. As the ball reaches the top of its toss, “it” calls out the number of one of the other players and then runs away also. The player whose number was called must run back and catch the ball (or chase after it if it is bouncing around).
Once that person has the ball, he/she yells, “SALT!” Then everyone else must freeze. The person with the ball must try to hit one of the players’ feet with the ball. If they do, that new person gets a letter (first S, then A, then L, then T) and is now “it.” If they miss, the person who threw the ball is “it” for the next round. The goal is for everyone to reach SALT status.
When you are thinking about how to make vacation bible school fun. And which VBS games for kids would provide the most interaction on-site and that they’d want to continue playing with friends at home, they must be purpose-driven. Yes, fun vacation bible school games are important for so many reasons, but don’t miss the keyword here: BIBLE. When you get creative with your thinking, you can incorporate so many bible stories and lessons into the games to personalize them. This helps continue to plant seeds of salvation and hope into their hearts and minds.
Kaitlin is a former pastoral staff member with the UNC Newman Catholic Student Center Parish. She understands the challenges our ministry partners face every day. Four years of utilizing Realm to overcome those challenges inspired her to join the ACS Technologies family in 2020.